The last post in my 2018 check-in will focus on household cleaning. My philosophy is to keep things as simple as possible and to use one product for different uses. I use the wooden dish brush in the picture above to clean my dishes. I used to make my own all-purpose cleaner, but I found that I generated too much waste in doing so, and had to buy too many things. I now use a concentrated all-purpose cleaner to wash my dishes and clean all the bathroom and kitchen surfaces. You dilute a small amount with water, so this bottle lasts a very long time. I keep a spray cleaner in the kitchen and in both bathrooms. After every shower, I spray the tiles with the all-purpose cleaner and wipe down with this metal squeegee. I use the spray bottle to clean the toilets as well. I will eventually buy this wooden toilet brush once my plastic one needs to be replaced. I use rags and flour sack towels to wipe down surfaces.
Because I live with two cats, I sweep the floors regularly with this dry mop, and vacuum once a week. I use this steamer weekly to clean all the floors; I have had it for five years and use only tap water. For a quick spot clean of floors, I use a DIY cleaner consisting of water, white vinegar, and isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol). Because my cats are allowed to sit wherever they like, I invested in this hand-held Dyson vacuum cleaner for upholstery; it works like a charm on my carpeted stairs, as well. To refresh fabrics, I use a combination of water, rubbing alcohol, and essential oil. I use a DIY dusting spray that combines water, vinegar, olive oil, and lemon essential oil for my wood furniture.
I use soapnuts that I buy from the bulk store to do laundry; once the soapnuts have lost their saponin, I place them in the compost bin. In the dryer, I use these cloth dryer sheets, which last about two years. I use clothes racks to air dry as much of my laundry as possible, barring sheets. My Turkish towels air dry overnight. Speaking of sheets, I use these made of bamboo; I would love to get linen sheets, but my bamboo sheets last for years, so it might be a long wait. I handwash my lingerie and many items of clothing (e.g., dresses, cardigans, etc.) with a bar of Savon de Marseille.
As I hope I’ve shown, household cleaning does not require a lot of different products, nor do you need to buy a lot of items in plastic.